#NovemberNotes Day 19/ 100 Word Wednesday: “The Light of Hope” #amwriting #100WordWednesday #flashfiction


For NovemberNotes Day 19 the song is “Midnight” by Coldplay. I’m combining with Bikurgurl’s Week 46 #100WordWednesday Photo Prompt.


Credit: Mert Guller via Unsplash


“Midnight”by Coldplay


The line at Starbucks was long and Seamus kept screwing up people’s drink orders. He couldn’t handle being on cash, making people’s specific drinks, and having his manager, Brian, berate his efforts. It was only his second day on the job.

Seamus needed to make extra money to supplement his student loans and buy a few presents for his family and girlfriend, Heidi. At the end of his shift he hoped he would be allowed back to work tomorrow.

He prayed that when he finished today and arrived home in an early twilight’s pitch-black, Heidi would be there with Chinese take-out. He dreamt about the lights from their Christmas tree gleaming as they talked about their respective terrible days and future hopes and dreams.


“In the darkness before the dawn

In the swirling of the storm

When I’m rolling with the punches, and hope is gone

Leave a light, a light on

Millions of miles from home

In the swirling, swimming on

When I’m rolling with the thunder but bleed from thorns

Leave a light, a light on

Leave a light, a light on.” — ColdPlay “Midnight”


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

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Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Grandpa’s Fish Pond #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction 


Thanks too Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

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Credit: Sora Sangano – http://www.unsplash.com

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Phallon watched the fish swim in the pond his Grandpa had installed in his backyard. He enjoyed visiting his Grandpa each Saturday. Grandpa had put the pond in because young Phallon loved the fish so much as a toddler; ‘fishes’ had been his first word. 

Now he sat with Grandpa who asked him about school and of course the girls in his school. Uncomfortable, Phallon wished Grandpa didn’t ask him about that. 

Grandpa simply laughed,”Phallon, I’m only teasing you. It’s good you have friends who are girls and that there are girls you like. This Jennifer, have you asked her out?”

Phallon’s face turned red, “Yeah we’ve gone to a movie together and bowling. I want her to be my girlfriend but her parents say she’s too young to have a boyfriend.” 

Grandpa nodded a smile on his face, “You’ll find the right one when you’re older. When I saw your Grandma the first time, my heart lept out of my chest. I wonder if I will ever meet that right girl of yours and see you marry her?” 

Phallon felt uncomfortable again, “Why wouldn’t you be there Grandpa? You’re only eighty-one?” 

Grandpa patted Phallon’s hand then squeezed it, “You know, my boy, I’ve been sick a long time. It’s a battle I’ve mostly conquered, but my strength is waning these days.When you get married someday, think of your old Grandpa, okay?” Phallon nodded feeling a lump in his throat.

Two-years later Grandpa succumbed. Phallon was sixteen and felt raw inside. He returned to the fish pond in Grandpa’s  back yard. He noticed the fishes were floating and the reality of life made tears wet his cheeks. In the mess of the last two weeks including Grandpa’s funeral, no one had remembered to feed the fish. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Writing 101:  Tessa’s Anecdotes Meeting Men #everydayinspiration #amwriting


Today’s prompt for Writing 101 is to write a series of anecdotes or vignettes which are defined as ” short, episodic scenes or moments that together read as variations on the same subject/story.” Therefore, each vignettes needs to have a similarity between them which ties each vignettes to the others. 

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http://www.pcwallart.com

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Tessa feels afraid. Life has become unmanageable for her to take a risk in love because she can’t calculate the damage another man could do to her. One guy Ryan, she talked to for a year and he wanted be with Tessa but she was in a relationship at the time. Tessa told Ryan, she loved her boyfriend. She only wanted to be friends with Ryan. He wasn’t interested in being friends. The thought of not talking to and seeing him anymore, made Tessa bitterly sad. 

————

Tessa was single and free. It felt wonderful to not have to go out and spend her weekends at her boyfriend Ted’s place, not doing much of anything. When she was out, Tessa wanted to be doing something, not laying around all day. A nap was one thing, but sitting and watching the same news channel hours on end as Ted did, Tessa couldn’t handle it. She wanted to visit their couple friends and go to fun events on the evenings and a week night once in a while. Her now ex-boyfriend Ted always sat on the couch, eyes on the news or searching the Internet. Tessa left Ted, never looking back.

————–

Freedom flowed through her veins. Tessa was happy and her life was fulfilling. She was working hard each day. Doing the best she could, developing a career. But there were always men who wanted something from Tessa. She didn’t want to be mean and say: “I don’t want anything from you. You’d only mess up my life and I like my life how it is right now.” 

To say that would be too honest and being too honest can sound brash and thoughtless and get a woman labelled. Tessa didn’t want to damage her career, but often it meant putting up with men, their sexual inuendo and advances.

———-

Greyson is messaging Tessa again. No real conversation occurs between them. He doesn’t talk about his days or ask much about hers when they go on dates. Greyson gazes at her and says, “I like you. I like talking to you. Don’t you like me?” Tessa is tired of his games.

 She tells Greyson, “We’ve been through this. You don’t want a relationship and I do.” 

He remarks, “Let’s sleep together and see how it goes.” 

Tessa is angry, her attraction to Greyson wanes and she ceases talking to him.

———

She is dating Phillip now. A new guy who keeps calling her at all times. Phillip won’t stop. He’s a stranger who somehow had her number in his contacts. Tessa recalls she hasn’t  had her new cell number for long. 

Phillip tells Tessa he is into having a relationship with her but with him too, it comes down to sex.  After they have sex he tells her, “We’ll see how things go.” He is suddenly non-committal and distant towards Tess, except when he wants to sleep with her.

Tessa is exasperated. Isn’t she valuable outside the context of sex? Isn’t there a guy who will like her for her personality too and want to get to know her!? 

Now, whenever Phillip texts or calls Tessa deletes any trace of him from her cell phone.

—–

Some man starts talking to Tessa outside her hair salon, grabbing her arm. She doesn’t like it when people she doesn’t know man handle her. But Tessa attempts to be polite. 

 The stranger tells her she’s beautiful and keeps complimenting her. She’s not attracted to him in the least and he won’t let her leave. He keeps stepping in front of her as she tries to take the stairs down to the train. 

Tessa had worked in the morning and taken the afternoon off to have her hair done and now this weird man won’t let her go home. It’s only 4:00 pm but Tessa smells the liquor on the stranger’s breath.

 “Let go. Leave me alone. My boyfriend wouldn’t like you bothering me like this. I need to go home.” She tells the man.

The stranger acts offended and she shivers in disgust at his repulsive corporate ego. She hates having to lie to protect herself. To ensure her own security.

———

Tessa meanders in a popular shopping district, alone on a Saturday afternoon. She’s in a boutique and is enthused the clothes are stylish but not overally expensive. Tessa models a blue halter dress and she hears a deep voice remark: “I’d take you out in that dress. You’re gorgeous.” 

Tessa turns, regarding the man who complimented her. He’s a bit older, but it doesn’t bother her. The handsome man’s blue eyes are breath-taking, bright against dark hair and attractive full lips. He wears dark jeans and a blue t-shirt matching his eyes.

Suddenly, Tessa realizes she’s been staring at the attractive man and hasn’t responded to his compliment. She blushes and her skin goes red.”I’m happy you like me in the dress. I wasn’t sure about it, but you’ve made my mind up for me.” 

The attractive man chuckles and comes up to Tessa, running a hand gently down her arm. She’s surprised his familer touch doesn’t bother her. He gazes into her eyes and smiles. 

“What’s a pretty girl like you doing all by herself shopping? You need a guy to hold your bags and make sure douch men don’t bother you.” 

Tessa laughs. “Are you offering to do the job? Because I would definitely have to take you up on that offer. I’m Tessa by the way.” She holds out her hand which is shaking a bit and his strong hand engulfs hers and shakes it firmly. A firm handshake, Tessa is impressed.

She smiles as the attractive man runs a hand through wisps of her loose hair. “What’s your name?” She asks him.

He grins at her question. “I’m Blake and I’m a university professor in economics. What do you do Tessa?” 

” I work in HR for a company. I like talking with different people and helping them.” Blake stares at his hands in his jean pockets, smiling at Tessa before touching her cheek with the back of his hand. 

Again, his touch doesn’t bother Tessa. She craves it. Blake smells wonderful, like the ocean with a note of sandlewood. Blake and her are standing close and Tessa’s breathing is picking-up speed with Blake’s breath.

“There you are.” An elegant woman in a red dress sweeps in. She’s thin and willowy and seems like she’s a model, on trend and waifish.”Who’s this?” The model asks, regarding Tessa as if she were a peculiar creature for Blake to be flirting with.

The model’s eyes rove over Tessa and back to Blake. Blake sighs and he doesn’t appear glad to see the model, in fact; he seems annoyed. He gazes at Tessa appearing apologetic. Tessa has pity on Blake.

“Oh this must be your girlfriend you were telling me about.” Tessa remarks to Blake. “She is stunning and you’re lucky to have her. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. I’ve been busy and I know you have been busy too. I’ll let you get back to your girl.” The model gives Tessa an odd look and then giggles.

Tessa can’t help but feel she’s missing something and that the model is making fun of her.”Lovely to meet you, ” the model says.”I’m Cherise.” 

“I’m Tessa and Blake really loves you.” She says. Cherish chuckles and so does Blake.

Cherise smiles at Tessa and Blake. Tessa doesn’t know what to say. She feels miserable. because she has met a nice guy and he isn’t actually a nice guy. He has a girlfriend named Cherise who’s laughing at her.

 Tessa was hugely attracted to Blake and wanted to know him better. He pressed the back of his hand to her cheek as Cherise walked away to look at a dress. 

“I’m going to try this on,” she tells Blake who nods at her. But his blue gaze is focused on Tessa.

“Why did you do that?” Blake says, laughter in his voice. ” Cherise is my younger step-sister. She’s not my girlfriend. It’s gross thinking about her that way. We have the same Dad and I grew up with her.” 

Tessa’s face turns bright red. Redder than it was before. “Oh, I didn’t realize. I was trying to give you an out because I thought Cherise was your girlfriend. But I’m glad she’s only your sister. You had me worried for a bit.” 

Blake chuckles again.”Are you going to let me take you out tonight in that dress you’re buying? I have to drive Cherise to her boyfriends but I can meet you down the street at the Manterra Hotel dining room at 7:00 pm?”

Tessa smiles genuinely. “I’d love to have dinner with you, Blake.” She leans up towards Blake and kisses his inviting lips gently for a few moments, keeping her lips against Blakes  a meaningful second before walking towards the cash register. 

Blake repeats behind her: “7:00 pm at the Manterra Hotel.” 

Tessa looks back at Blake and smiles.”You bet.” 

———–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for The Purposeful Practitioner: Wrong Horror Movie. #amwriting


Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFfTPP.

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http://www.pixebay.com

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“I’m so tired we’ve been driving for hours,” Luc muttered to Felicia.

“Well there’s a motel up ahead. No nevermind. We’re not staying here honey.” 

Luc yawned. “I can’t drive anymore tonight. It’s 12:30 a.m.”

“This motel has dusty rooms crawling with roaches and resembles the Bate’s Motel.”

“It’ll be fine you’ll see.” Luc said. He parked the car infront of Reception and came back with a key card. He showed Felicia the key card.

“I’ll sleep in the damn car. If you’re still alive in the morning I’ll come in and shower.”

“If you’re sure,” Luc said. “Want to see it first?” Felicia remained mute.

Luc opened room 62 which was surprisingly clean and modern. The beds and linens were new and the bathroom had been renovated. 

He thought about getting Felicia but Luc was also fond of stretching out in a bed to himself.

——

It was 8:00 am when Luc received a knock on his room door. “Sir are you Luc Rareson?” A grisly state trooper asked.

“Yes,” Luc said tentivily. 

“Is this your car?” The trooper pointed to a black SUV, half covered up.

“Yes, my girlfriend was sleeping in there. She refused to sleep in the room.”Luc said ashen.

“What’s your girlfriend’s name Mr. Rareson?” 

“Felicia Mayer, where is she? What happened to her?” 

“I’m sorry to tell you this sir but Felicia Mayer was murdered in your car last night.” The trooper said gently.

Tears leaked out Luc’s eyes.”I should’ve made her stay inside the room. I should’ve insisted.” 

 “We have the individual who murdered Felicia in custody. He won’t tell us his real name. He was wearing an old goalie mask from hockey and says his name is Jason Voorhees.” 

“Are you kidding me?” Luc sobbed.

“No,” the state trooper said.”Ironically enough, today is Friday May 13.” 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

28. How Was Last Night For You: Greater Truths


Please read Chapter 27 here.

Chapter 28: Greater Truths

John stared up at Norman speechless.”You’re glad I asked? Because  you’re making this whole process difficult for me. I want to go home and I don’t need any universal truths right now. Since I’m not dead, let me live.”

Norman’s smile got even bigger. His face crinkling and creasing from lines the sun had etched.

“It’s usually about something bigger then our lives, or even the lives of people we care about. Often, I find it’s about faith.” John was perplexed but interested in what Norman meant.

“What kind of faith? You mean spiritual? I have that. I grew up Anglican. God got me through a lot of awful situations. I mean, with being cursed for ten-years, I had to believe there was a better place out there and a reason I was enduring what I was.”

Norman’s brown eyes twinkled.”Yes, God was with you before you were cursed and during. But you’re missing something, the bigger picture.”

“What should I see?” John exclaimed frustrated. He was at the point with Norman where he wanted to punch Norman for being so mysterious.However, Norman was John’s ticket home, so he dealt with his frustration.

John rolled the muscles in his shoulders, cracking his neck trying to workout the strain spreading through his body. It was the first time he’d felt the aches of being human outside the cottage, on the beach, in-between life and death.

Norman steepled his hands on the patio table and the setting sun made his eyes seem alight with fire. “‘The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it.’ It’s John 1:5 from the New Testament. Do you remember what came before it?”

John thought back to memorizing Bible verses as a youth in church. “I believe: ‘In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind.'” John shrugged looking at Norman, wondering what he meant asking John to recall these exact verses.

“You know this, I know.” Norman said seriously, ” But there’s a specific reason I’m asking you this John. Not to waste your time as you think. Many people would think this was a grand vacation place and be quite happy to remain for some time. But I’m trying to get you to understand something significant.” Norman revealed shaking his head at John’s obtuseness.

“Your girlfriend Nina believes you will come back to her because she believes in magic. She quoted Louise Carroll to Rianne recently, saying: people want magical solutions in life but then, they don’t believe in magic.”

“Trust me Norman. I believe in magic. Talise cursed me and I lived through it. I sacrificed myself and now I’m here and you yourself are a kind of magic as you’ve told me. I’m a believer. Otherwise, how else would you know something Nina and Rianne discussed not long ago? How would you know thoughts I think in my head?” John said glancing at Norman for confirmation before continuing.

“I do wish you’d stay out of my head though. Give me the privacy of my own thoughts, Norman.”

“I can’t help that John. You might as well force yourself to stop thinking and feeling, which would be the easier solution.” Norman said.

“I don’t like this, you’re grating on my nerves Norman. What is it you’re trying to tell me about magic and faith? I don’t have time to sit here having philosophical discussions.” John said grumpily.

He was feeling tired and outside an orange and pink sunset was disintegrating into ink black. John could hear the tide, reaching in farther on the shore as a shadow of a crescent moon was revealed.

“You have time John. All the time in the world. I’m here to help you learn,” Norman said in a fatherly manner.”Nina has faith in you and believes good magic will bring you back. She also believes God wouldn’t take you from her at this time, after all you two went through.”

“I can’t speak for God, but I do know if Nina has faith in you, you should have more faith in yourself and your situation. Magic is a gift from a higher power –from God. You have to have faith there is benevolent magic along with the malevolent magic you experienced with Talise. As with many things in life there is both light and darkness.” Norman explained.

“So I should have faith in God, magic, and in things working out?”

“Yes, you should. But you don’t have faith, it’s why you’re here. You didn’t believe the curse would actually give you a happy ending and you didn’t believe your prayers would be answered. You didn’t believe a girl such as Nina, could truly be yours.” Norman’s voice was soft but accusatory.

“Do you know why I asked you about John 1:5, John?”

“I think you are telling me the bad, the darkness doesn’t win. In the end light overtakes it.” John said hesitantly.

“And?”

“I have to believe it. I didn’t remain in the Sirene Lake alive with Nina because I didn’t believe in magic as a gift from a God, a good God. I didn’t even believe a God I’ve had faith in all these years I was cursed, could save my life in the end. All I saw was Talise misusing her gift, not the light.” John said understanding Norman at last.

“Nicely done John. I didn’t think you’d ever see that bigger picture I was talking about. Light always overcomes the darkness, remember that. It’s the reason I’m here, why I’m helping you. Nina is also a light in your life, you are meant to take care of her and to take care of each other.”

“That’s it?” John asked, “You’ve been building up to this for hours?” John was confused again.

“You have faith and your prayers have been answered. You get to live your life to the fullest with Nina and your family. Remember they’re blessings, gifts. Take care of that girl John.” John looked at Norman who smiled at him, his face creasing as always.

“Faith, belief? It’s that big?” John asked.

“Faith can move mountains, you know that.”

“When can I go? Can I go home now?” John asked Norman. He was agitated. The darkness of the night reminded him he needed to sleep. The ocean waves hitting the shore lulled him until John’s eyes were weighted down with exhaustion.

“I should clean-up,” John mumbled sleepily.

“It’s done.” Norman said. John opened his eyes a bit to see Norman standing before him and motioning John into the cottage through the patio door.

“I don’t often get to sleep in a warm, comfortable bed John. Tonight I’ll sleep in a guest room. I think you need to sleep too, your energy is drained from the curse yet. You need to rest up for home.”

“Home? Sleep?”

“Yes, time for bed.” Norman said pointing John towards his bedroom and heading towards a guest room.

John opened his heavy eyes for a moment to look at Norman who waved. John mumbled some indistinctive words. He felt as if he were drugged, but it was only a wave of fatigue.

With difficulty, John undressed and climbed into a warm bed. A fan blew overhead, spreading cool air across John’s torso. He slept for what felt like an eternity, immersed in fantastic and splendorous colours.

Night turned to morning while John slept.


 

Today was Saturday. Nina dreaded this day more than any day she had experienced in a long time. It was worse then the day her father her Mother and Nina when she was a preteen. She knew she wouldn’t hear from her father ever again that day. But inside her being, she believed she’d still see John.

Nina stared at her haggard, washed out appearance in the bathroom mirror. She had barely slept, thinking about having to attend John’s funeral. Couldn’t she skip it? She didn’t believe John was dead after all. But she knew how much her attendance meant  to the Eric’s.

Looking at her iPhone, Nina realized it was only 8:30 am. The funeral didn’t start until 11:00 am. Nina was relieved she could go out for a walk down the beach before she got ready  for the funeral. John had been kind when he willed her his house, Nina loved the beach that ringed the Sirene Lake.

Washing her face and applying a bit of concealer to her under eye circles, Nina put on her yoga pants, a purple yoga top, and a warm fleecy hoody. The Fall weather made the beach down by the lake colder then it had been in spring, when Nina had been forced into the Sirene by Talise. But it was still a beautiful place to walk down whatever the time of year.

Grabbing a bottle of water from the pantry, Nina made her way to beach. The morning sky was blue and pleasant. Even by the Sirene’s shores, there was merely a gentle breeze. The sun beat down on Nina as she walked through the sand, it would be a decent day for John’s funeral at least.

The sky felt too bright for Nina’s mood and she put her hand up to guard her eyes from the invading sunlight. The sunlight was glaring and Nina thought, purposefully trying to lift her dour mood.

Nina walked quickly thinking about how she would deal with the funeral. A dark thought crossed her mind, what if John actually was dead? But she immediately brushed the thought aside.

Nina couldn’t not believe, John would come home. She didn’t know when he’d arrive, but he wouldn’t leave her like this to suffer. The curse had been broken so justly, Nina should get to spend her life with John. But was life just?

John hadn’t always been a stellar guy. He had been a horrible womanizer and used many women purely for sex. He had been a playboy, which had caused his curse initially. But Nina thought, John had tried to become a better person. With Nina he was himself and he wasn’t running from the reality of his life. Together, Nina and John made a great team.

Tears of regret and from missing John, flowed down Nina’s cheek. She knelt down in the sand and jumped when she felt a cool hand on her shoulder, brushing her neck because she had put her blond hair in a ponytail for her walk.

Nina gasped and stared back at a man behind her. Her eyes lit with unashamed love. She couldn’t believe John was behind her.

Nina screamed and jumped into John’s arms. Kissing every inch of his face. Tears ran down her cheeks and she thought she saw tears on John’s face too. She shrieked in shear joy.

Finally, John stilled Nina and held her in his arms kissing her forehead. ” Is it you? Is it you John?” Nina exclaimed.

“It’s me Nina. I couldn’t stay away.” Nina backed up from John, her eyes examining every inch of him from his tanned skin to his sapphire eyes aglow with mirth. His dark hair having grown and not been cut in months, was a wavy mess.

“Where have you been?” Nina asked John, suddenly angry at him. “You made me wait so long. Four-months is forever when you think someone’s dead. How could you do that to your Mom and I?” John appeared regretful.

“I wanted to come home. I did. I don’t know how to tell you this but I was stuck. I was asleep in radiant colours of every shade and texture for a long time. Then, I was on this picturesque beach with a homeless guy named Norman. He told me I had no faith and that was why I was stuck at the beach inbetween life and death.”

Nina gasped again. “Are you okay? I don’t know if you hit your head or if what you’re saying is the truth. Given our experiences in the past I think I believe you. I remember being stuck in colours like you describe myself. You saved me from them and then you disappeared.” Nina looked heartbroken as the memory came to her.

“I know,” John said sorrowfully. “I couldn’t help being gone for four-months since Talise broke the curse with us. I had no control. I wasn’t awake for most of it, I don’t think.” John grasped Nina’s arms and held her close.

“I missed you so much. I didn’t even know my own name, but I knew you.” John whispered to Nina, his forehead against hers.

The kiss began gently, exploratory. As if they were learning each other’s lips once again. Nina sighed and John deepened the kiss, his arms pulling her against him with force. Nina let herself melt into John, kissing him back, tongues sliding against each other and sparks igniting between them. Nina pulled back, tears unknown falling from her eyes.

John kissed the tears away and made his way back to Nina’s lips, exploring her mouth again. “I missed this so much,” John said heatedly.

Nina kissed John for what felt like forever until she couldn’t any longer because reality was intruding in her thoughts. She carefully pulled away from John’s arms and mouth, feeling woozy from lust and love. She stood a moment, catching her breath, lips swollen.

“Today’s Saturday John, today’s supposed to be your funeral.” Nina said frowning. “I told them you’d come back but time passed and your family needed to move on. We have to call them now.”

“Yeah you’re right. Norman told me today was my funeral. I think I should stop it, before it gets too far,” John remarked, ” I can’t wait to see everyone.”

Nina gazed up at John. “For a dead man you look amazing. You seem so full of vitality, joyeux de vivre. Why are you’re wearing beach clothes again? It’s Autumn here you know. How exactly did you manage to find me here?”

“I came from a beautiful cottage on a beach. The beach stretched for miles and I was all alone until Norman came. I went to sleep last night and when I woke up I was walking the surf of the Sirene in Adare and I knew I was close to home when I saw you walking. It’s the only explanation I can give you truthfully.” John told Nina.

Nina smiled softly, “I was a wreck without you. At least you willed me the house and I got to stay near your things. I want to hear all about this beach you were on with Norman. I have the feeling you’re telling me half the story.”

“Would I do that?” John teased.

“Ha, I think you say as little as you can at times.”

“Only trying to stay on your good side,” John said laughing.

“I’m glad I willed you the house. It’s our home and I’ll tell you all about Norman later. He saved Rianne from Malcolm you know?”

“Yeah, Jasper got footage from the Chinese food place. It showed Malcolm knocking her out against a wall. Jasper and Rianne weren’t able to find any sign of the homeless man in Adare.” Nina remarked.

“He was with me I guess. It’s not the only form he takes he told me. I’m not sure what he means by that, but he isn’t always a homeless man.”

“I think I should call my family now,” John said stroking Nina’s cheeks. “I wish we could be alone for a while first, but I doubt that will happen.” Nina smiled holding John’s hands against her cheeks.

“You’re not cursed anymore,” she exclaimed laughing joyfully, hugging and kissing John on the lips hard.

John grinned, “So this is happily ever after I guess?”

Nina smiled. “No, it’s the beginning of real life. Of our life. No magic . . .”

John’s smile slid off his face for a second, “I’m not so sure Nina. I think there will always be magic in our lives. If not magic, Talise.” Nina looked horrified.

“Norman told me. He said Talise was Jordan’s problem now.”

“But why? How did she survive? Jordan stabbed Talise through the heart with her dagger. The dagger changed appearance and the Sirene engulfed her body. Jordan has this ring .. .”

“I know all about it Nina. Norman filled me in. He also told me it’s Jordan’s path to take. Talise sees something in him, like you saw in me when we met.” John explained.

” Jordan hates her. He’ll never forgive Talise.” Nina remarked.

“She’s redeemable, Norman said. She’s not a sea witch anymore. Talise is only a mermaid and Jordan has her soul beneath the emerald in his ring.”

“Wow,” Nina said shocked.”I didn’t see that coming. Plot twist.”

John nodded in agreement with Nina’s exclamation,  kissing her hairline.”If you have your cell, I need to call Mom and Dad. What times the funeral?”

“It’s an hour-and-a-half away John,” Nina said checking the time on her phone and handing it to him worriedly. John clasped her hand in his before taking the phone and dialling his Mom’s cell.

He stood on the beach, listening to Nina’s phone dialing for what seemed like ages.

Please Read Chapter 29 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Skin


Want me for more than just sex,

Don’t use me to get that high,

Like me for my mind, my soul, 

Don’t like me just for my behind.

Want me for more than just to get laid,

If you can’t listen to me and care what I say,

Then you might as well, get out of the way.

You might as well go after the last girl you lost.

She’ll go for sex, but maybe not.

Maybe she learned to avoid the game you play.

Looking for that something else, the right guys give away.

No one is perfect, no one is precisely matched.

But I keep my heels and my standards high,

Because I’m a keeper, and I don’t like your vibe.

The disease you may bring, it frightens me.

How many chicks do you do this with?

I don’t mind intimacy, but I don’t like being used.

I’m not built for loving and leaving, 

I wasn’t built with my screws loose.

Some girls like it your way, I’ll leave you for them.

Because unless you like me for me,

We can’t be more then just acquaintances.

But I could be wrong, you could be a good guy.

We’ll see where this goes but you don’t know me.

And intimacy implies a knowing of more than just skin.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Part 3 – Fatal Attraction


Part 2: Locked Up

Allie sat a square wooden table in her prison while Jax (her captor) stared at his intricate watch. She wasn’t sure how she was going to help Jax get Cassandra Everett, in fact, she didn’t want to aid him at all.

Allie had grown up with Cassandra and considered her a good friend. Graham (Allie’s boyfriend) was Cassandra’s step-brother. Jax stared at her pointedly when she sighed and broke his concentration.

” Shush Allie, I’m waiting to hear if my men have gotten Cassandra. As you said, she goes to the Good Life Gym on the southside every weekday morning.” Allie smiled convincingly. Really she had no idea where Cassandra was.

When no Cassandra showed up at the gym Jax stopped staring at his watch and took Allie’s chin tightly in his hands so she would look at him.

He was angry with her. ” Cassandra is out of the country, you lied to me.” Allie gulped and flinched at Jax’s bruising grip on her chin. “But” he said, ” I have found out some  interesting news about you, you’re practically engaged to Graham, Cassandra’s brother. I’m sure the Everett’s will pay for you.”

Allie pressed her lips together and said nothing. Jax combed his fingers through Allie’s hair before kissing her harshly. Allie expected to be grossed out but instead found herself attracted to the enigmatic Jax who kissed well.”Your my girl now Allie. The Everett’s will pay more than money to get you back.”

Allie loved Graham, but their was something about Jax that she found alluring. She knew she had to be careful with Jax and Graham because her situation just got a  lot more complicated.

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Sunday Flash Fiction is hosted by Alistair Forbes.

50 Shades of Grey: What Makes It So Appealing?


www.ibtimes.com
http://www.ibtimes.com

In the novel 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, a 21-year-old university graduate Anastasia Steele, finds herself caught up in a whirl wind relationship with the enigmatic 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey. Ana  meets Christian while awkwardly interviewing Christian  in place of her bestfriend Kate for a newspaper article for the Vancouver WSU student paper in Washington where Christian will be conferring degrees on Ana’s graduating class. Ana, who has never been majorly attracted to anyone before, finds herself enthralled by Christian. The chemistry between them is immediate and charged.

Ana finds herself in a difficult situation, however, when she discovers after coffee with Christian that he is not into typical relationships. The only type of relationship Christian has ever had and wants is a dominant – submissive relationship where he is the dominant and controls his submissive in every way when they are together and often a part. Anna wants Christian Grey and has strong feelings for him and even though Christian does not realize it, he has feelings for Ana too. This changes the dynamic of the relationship because eventually Ana wants “more” than a dominant-sub relationship from Christian and Christian gives ‘more’ to Ana even though he has never wanted more from any of his submissives before. In fact, Ana gets away with a lot more than any of Christian’s other submissives ever have.

But what is it about E.L James book that makes women (particularly) love The 50 Shades of Grey series so much? First, it is sex and the idea of a unique S&M relationship that develops into love for Ana and Christian; second, it is the character of Ana, who allows Christian, a deeply controlling and broken man inside, into her life while most other girls of her age and sexual experience would have run away; thirdly, it is the thoroughly brilliant yet clueless character of Christian who ends up falling in love with Ana and experiencing many firsts with her. Despite his preferred S&M lifestyle, Ana becomes the most important person in Christian’s life and they fall in love with each other.

www.thewrap.com
http://www.thewrap.com

Sex is the most immediate thing that comes to mind when thinking of 50 Shades of Grey. Not just sex but sex that is taboo. Christian is not just attracted to Ana immensely. He does not come into their relationship wanting the typical relationship that develops into a  “white picket fence” marriage. Christian does not even image that for himself in the beginning of the book series. He wants Ana as his submissive to control, keep safe, and use for his pleasure. Ana wants to be with Christian and break down his walls. She wants a pleasurable and enlightening relationship with Christian. She wants Christian without all his baggage. But she is very curious and taken a hold of by the sexual part of their relationship. She even finds it very pleasurable when Christian introduces her to his kinky lifestyle.

Sex of course is frequent through out the entire book. It is through sex (and banter) that the entire relationship of Christian and Ana develops. Christian first introduces  Ana to sex by making love to her because she is a virgin. He is shocked that she has never had sex before and Ana is surprised he has never had vanilla sex before. Christian invites Ana over to his home in Seattle and shows her all the usual and unusual ways of having making love and Ana thinks this is double chocolate with triple fudge on top sex, not just usual sex. She is always aroused for him and he always want to touch her. It is a wonder she can still walk by the end of the first weekend.

A week later, Anna agrees to try S&M sex with Christian. She has a dream where Christian uses a leather riding crop to hit her and make her have an orgasm. Although she is afraid of the pain, Anna allows Christian to flick her with the riding crop, hand cuff her to a track that leads to a giant X against the ‘playroom’ wall, and have sex with her hard. Christian also makes Ana hang on to the bed post while screwing her really intensely again even though she is exhausted. Through out the ordeal Anna finds herself extremely and shockingly turned on and must address Christian as ‘Sir’ or he will smack her hard with the riding crop if she does not. She is told she is be quite and sit by the door in only her underwear kneeling submissively in any sexual scene Ana and Christian get into in the playroom. Christian is thrilled with the way Anna reacts to the sex scene he had planned out and carries her to sleep in her bedroom. I think the fact of being vulnerable and giving yourself over to be sexually pleasured is something many women could relate to with to Ana. Christian is very knowledgeable and skilled about sex and he does promise not to hurt Ana at this point. Even when he does hurt her, and spanks her, she is turned on and Christian makes sure to take care of her with aspirin and lotion/baby oil afterwards.

The third, sexual situation Christian and Ana find themselves in is again in the playroom where Christian blindfolds Anna and plays iPhone music in her ears and cuffs her to the bed. He whips her with a flogger and finds  she enjoys being flogged. Ana finds it very seductive and entrancing. Even though she is feeling a little pain it is okay because of the sexual chemistry and sexual awareness that she is experiencing with Christian. Plus, she trusts him by this point. Sometimes I wondered  in the book why Ana did not stand up for herself a bit more and not agree to call Christian Sir and be so acquiescing. But it’s because she  likes what’s happening to her sexually and that Christian likes doing what he is doing to Ana that she allows the situation to continue. Not only does she trust Christian she is falling in love with him. I’m sure many guys can imagine doing similar sexual things  to a woman  or women can imagine having these things done to them. That whole sexual fantasy aspect plays a huge roll in the book’s success. What Ana cannot tolerate though is real painful punishment from Christian. Her acceptance to experience it one  time to give Christian a chance because she loves him, and then her choice to leave Christian, leads him to the realization that being without Ana is even more painful than being thoroughly lashed with a belt and punished as she is in the end of the book.

Additionally, the chastity and goodness of Ana is very important in the book. She goes about handling Christian with her wits and her innocence, and this beguiles Christian. Having never had any boyfriend and little sexual experience beyond kissing before, Ana is chaste and Christian likes this because it makes Ana completely his. It also makes Anna open to trying a lot of things other girls wouldn’t have been open to trying because she has no frame of reference but Christian. Christian is floored that someone as beautiful as Ana has never had sex before and is quite happy to show her how several times. He is thrilled by her and her innocence. Not only her innocence in being willing to have sex but her willingness to try S&M sex with him just after reading about it on the internet and after reading through and reluctantly saying what she will and will not do with him in a relationship, in a contract. Ana is shocked by some of the things listed in this contract.

It is also Ana’s wit and wisdom that makes her so appealing to Christian. She jokes with him that he is her stalker because he is always worried about her and wants to know her whereabouts and if he does not know where she is, he will track her cellphone. She jokes with Christian in bed and deals with him gently, even though he is a very damaged man. She knows this is the closest he has ever come to a ‘real’ relationship and even though she isn’t keen on the idea of pain she is willing to be vulnerable to him because she likes him and believes he has potential as a person and a partner. She is also in lust with him and this develops into love. Moreover, when she falls in love with Christian she hopes that he sees that she is willing to sacrifice for him. She listens to Christian and encourages him to talk about his past even though he does not like talking about his experiences, especially his early childhood and his toxic relationship with Mrs. Robinson that warps his views on sex. Ana also respects that Christian doesn’t like being touched in some areas on his body and Christian later lets Ana touch him in the second book, something none of Christian’s submissives had ever done. Ana becomes Christian’s girlfriend, rather, then his submissive.

Lastly, Ana is a good influence on Christian and an interesting character because she finally does set limits for him, something no one dares to do. She will not allow Christian to hit her and punish her like his old submissives. She cannot live with that. She lets him know that his issues of liking punishment are issues he will have to deal with because she will not accept that he is a masochist or permanently destroyed person . If he wants her, loves her,  than Christian has to learn to control himself. That is why she tells him to “get it together Grey” when he belts her over a bench in the playroom at the end the first book. It  is her or his urge to punish and control her, not both.She decides she will not be his submissive of punishment is required.

Thirdly, it is the character of Christian Grey that especially makes 50 shades of Grey intriguing. Christian is a mystery. Why is he so dominant? Why does he feel he needs to punish his submissives? Why is he so controlling? It is also his growth as a human being that is fascinating coming from his circumstances. He is a 27-year-old billionaire who can do what he wants and he picks seemingly plane Anastasia Steele and thinks she is gorgeous. He cannot stay away from her and he goes to visit her after their interview at the hardware store where she works. He makes all this effort to explain his lifestyle to Ana who is a virgin to begin with because he is completely bewitched by her. This has never happened to him before and Ana is someone he could be compatible with for life, despite the fact that he is an angry and a possibly masochistic man due to his past. Christian lets Ana talk and have an opinion because he likes her wit and  he enjoys that she is smart like him. He introduces her to his entire family who is shocked at first by the existence of her as Christian’s ‘ girlfriend” because he has never brought a girl home before and they assumed Christian might be gay. Moreover, his family genuinely like Ana and comment at the good change Ana causes in Christian. She opens him up emotionally to herself, his family, and to love.
Additionally, Christian wants and is willing to give Anna the ‘more’ she wants. He shows up at the Hotel  Ana and her mother are drinking at on vacation because Ana misses him and he takes her on a gliding plan after a night of talking and making love. He even gets to the point that he does not much care about the sexual contract between Ana and himself.  He just wants her submissive in the playroom and obedient. She is free to be herself otherwise, something he never allowed with past submissives. Then again he never had a girlfriend before. He even feels more comfortable when Ana sleeps beside him and tells her the most comforting thing he has ever heard was when she said  in her sleep that she would never leave him.
Christian’s failing of course, is believing that Anna will be obedient to his will. She is not a very submissive person, not to mention she is  a person and you shouldn’t even punish an animal by hitting it when it does something you don’t like.When Christian punishes Ana so she will know how bad it can be to be hit,  he fails to realize that Ana will do anything to avoid intense pain, to avoid punishment. She does not understand Christian’s need to punish her and really hurt her even though she loves him. When he belts her hard several times, Ana ends up leaving Christian putting Christian in intense pain. For 4 days he lets the love of his life walk out on him and the pain of not having her to love and be with is more pain than he’s ever experienced in his life. It gives him the sickly taste of what Ana feels about punishment. He soon realizes in 50 Shades Darker, that he must get Ana back because she is the light in his life. Ana is the best thing that has ever happened to him, his only release from the pain without her, and the release from the pain of his dark past. Christian’s intense, sexy, but remorseful character makes him likable and attractive. He becomes a better person because of Anna and because he can be saved by her and by himself. Because of this, he is redeemable, despite his love for punishment and darker desires.

In 50 Shades of Grey by E.L James women and particular find the book extremely appealing. The strong influence of sex, often taboo sex, makes the book interesting for many people to read as well as the innocent and loving character of Ana, and the enigmatic, suffering, yet forgivable character of Christian Grey. Although, Christian does not understand until the end that he must choose between his love of punishment to stay in control or his girlfriend Ana, he soon realizes that life without her is a far worse hell than he could have imagined. Both Ana and Christian are a mess without each other and in the following book both characters and their strengths and weaknesses are exposed so that Anna truly realizes how strong love must be to love someone as tortured and hurting as Christian. It is her ability to love despite his giant flaws, her patience to give, and Christian’s unexpected love for Ana that make the series so appealing.

Relationship Lessons from a Learner


shutterstock_60504643-1024x682 I never really had a boyfriend for a long time. Sure I dated a few guys but mostly I was interested in hanging out with my girls. I never minded being their wing-woman or being left in the background. Occasionally, I met a guy that was nice enough and cute enough that I thought I might like to see him a second time, but those situations never went anywhere rarely.

And for some reason there was a guy or 2 I developed these long-lasting crushes on but nothing seemed to happen with those even though I liked the guy and I knew they liked me. I was terribly shy, especially in University and those guys always turned out to be the guys who needed all the attention and the affirmation that I was girlfriend or dating material from their 20 closest guy pals and girl friends. I just wanted to get to know them first I guess.

But something happened to me after a good while, I stopped being so afraid of guys, being shy and being so picky. I thought about how nice it would be just to let some guy I usually wouldn’t give a chance, have a chance. I thought about all the guys my age out there and started going on online dating sites. I smiled more at cute guys I’d run into and tried to be more friendly to the single male friends of my friend’s boyfriends. I am not sure I accomplished being more outgoing every time because generally when my energy goes I am a walking zombie but I like to think that I learned something from university until that point.

The first lesson I learned was to give guys you normally wouldn’t a chance. It is very important to be attracted to guy but your not perfect and every guy you meet is not going to have every quality or attribute you have on your list and vice versa. The second thing I learned is that a guy who really likes you will not just wave or make time for you when he’s not with his buddies but he’ll actually seek you out and talk to you and when you talk to him he’ll want to talk to you and make an effort even if it’s difficult for one or both of you to talk because of nerves. I think most relationships are awkward at first, even just friendships. But it takes time to build up a data bank in your head of what a person likes, what they do in their time, what their hobbies are, their facial expressions etc.

On the other hand, a guy who gives you that wicked glint of a stare but really doesn’t talk to you, he’s just eye candy and if an effort or two trying to talk to him doesn’t yield much or yields too much, he’s not worth the effort. There are plenty of guys out there who are. 12-relationship-truths

When I met my current boyfriend, he was not what I expected at all. First of all, he wasn’t six foot something like the guys I usually went for and he dressed really well. He was handsome, muscular but not a big guy, not much taller than I. I was nervous but felt immediately comfortable around him and we were holding hands pretty fast. He works out by Fort McMurry so I only see him a few days every few weeks. The most important thing, and difficult thing I am learning with him is to keep the lines of communication open especially in a long distance relationship, I had to train myself and teach him to text me often to just keep in touch just so the presence of him was always in my life and I was in his life. At first, he would leave and I wouldn’t hear barely anything and I would feel this total loss of connection and then he would come back and the connection would be great. This is still an issue we deal with but I have learned communication especially with men who often don’t explain themselves well or don’t like to be held accountable to their whereabouts is vital. My brother’s are the same way.

Another thing I learned from this relationship was to not count my boyfriend out. I really wasn’t sure what was going on at first so I just went for it. We had fun together and when I asked him if he was my boyfriend 4 months or so into our dating he was like ” I guess so…” This felt disappointing. In fact, he tried to break up with me a week later and I convinced him to just give it a shot than I broke up with him. Then he phoned me back a few days later and said he thought we really had something and he wanted to see where it would go. I wasn’t expecting much when I first went out with him, just a few dates, some making out. But then he became my boyfriend and it was pretty thrilling to actually finally have a boyfriend. But I also discovered that relationships are a lot of work, men are a lot of work, and keeping a long distance relationship afloat is even harder.

Yesterday I was ready to end it all. I said I had enough. We had planned to hang out and he was just too busy. I was frustrated. It seemed to me like he was always too busy doing something. Eventually you just have to make a plan with your girlfriend and stick with it as best as you can. Plus, sometimes I can get frustrated because he’s a night person and I’m not. He wants to hang out at night and I’m often ready to go to bed. I like to do stuff in the day, it’s when I’m at my best but he’s usually sleeping sometimes to 3 pm when he is off work.

I thought about what I wanted and what I wanted after a 1 year and 4 months was a loving relationship where my boyfriend thought I was as important as his religion ( or near importance to his religion), family, and job by this point in time. I wanted to be a priority and you make time for priorities.

I think this is also an important issue in relationships making your special person feel loved and wanted, showing them that they are really important to you. You can do this by spending time with them even just doing everyday things like getting groceries. You can pick them up if they don’t drive, that’s one I always appreciate. You can let them help you out in life even though you are an independent person. As the poem goes, “No man is an island…” Everybody needs somebody sometimes. It’s not just a saying but a truth. Why do we have boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, and partners in life? Because we need each other, because it’s easier to have someone to depend on, to raise a family with. You can do these things alone but by far it is easier when you make room for someone else and share the load.

After, talking with my boyfriend I think we worked it out. I hope he gets it. And understands that girls just need a lot of reassurance too. Which leads me to my last point, forgiveness is really important in any relationship. Love does not hold grudges and blame. Love lets go and tries to see the best in people not the worst. So I know I haven’t got much experience as the dating world goes but maybe what I learned can help some of you. So you will see what to do before you make the same mistakes I did. Unfortunately I am told experience is always the worst teacher it gives the test first, and the lesson last.

That Inbetween Place


I’m not sure how other long distance relationships work, I thought everything was working out in mine. Communication has always been one of the issues between us, at least in my opinion. But it is hard just texting all the time, then him coming back for a week , getting close again – just to be separated again. It is frustrating trying to make plans with someone who will not or cannot make plans. I do what I do most of the time and he does what he does. I’m luck if I get to see him one day when he is back. Usually he is taking off to Saskatoon, Calgary, Red Deer somewhere for most of the week. Sometimes with good reason and sometimes just to get away.

He used to invite me along at first, now he never would – I guess I should have gone the first time he asked. This time he is off in Saskatchewan, his Canadian home ( he’s not from here.) But I always wonder why he cannot set set aside an extra day for me when he’s off. I know he is going to get car parts for his beloved 1993 car. But I also know he is off to see friends there too. I feel kind of like I’m second to his car, and his other friends. I get what’s left of him. I just want to hang out, get to talk and know more about him.It’s good when I am with him but hard when I am not because he doesn’t really talk to me- just usually a few words. He will not answer all my questions. And when something such as one of our visits does not work out – he won’t tell me that he can’t come get me. I mean just say it! Tell me I hate getting all dressed up for him just guessing if he’ll come see me/ get me or not.

I wanted him to let me know what is going on but he will not offer information up to me at all. I had to pry it out of him. It’s like some power thing with him – manipulation, so I do not know too much what is really going on with him. So a couple days ago I thought he was coming up to Edmonton next week but it was this week. He texted me, wanted to meet up but between me not being able to drive and his car badly in need of parts it didn’t work out. But he didn’t tell me he said he might pick me up. So not a word ! I called so I could actually talk to him, but he told me not to do that because his phone is long distance! But who cares about a few minutes long distance, I needed to figure out what was going on. I got frustrated and told him he needs to be clearer with me to me communicate. Usually he would text me more but he never did – never said a thing. I think he’s mad but I don’t know. I just need to know what’s happening so I can plan; I have life you know! I’m mad, i I realize that. I ask you, what am I to him that he cannot give me more time with him and not just on his schedule. It’s us when your boyfriend and girlfriend – not just me or him. So I told him to skype, nothing yet. We need to talk, cause I let my guard down around him, I care about him. Does he feel the same way? Or is it just lust.

Men are so frustrating and I can fix nothing if he does not like when I call- I’d rather we talk in person though. I am hurt and I miss him, cannot stop thinking about it if it’s just me or what? I’m in this Inbetween place, it is the strangest place to be – not knowing. I hate it!